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Pelikan's work is a fine contribution to the renewal of Christianity in all its dimensions. Volume One, The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100-600,) is the history of this critical, troubled time. Pelikan focuses upon the subtle relationship between what the faithful believed, what teachers, both orthodox and heretical, taught and what the church confessed as dogma during its first 6 centuries of growth.
In this five-volume opus--now available in its entirety in paperback--Pelikan traces the development of Christian doctrine from the first century to the twentieth.
"Pelikan's "The Christian Tradition" is] a series for which they must have coined words like 'magisterial'."--Martin Marty, "Commonweal"